Marijuana laws constantly change and contradict each other. Since decriminalization took hold in the states, legislation that conflicts with federal law has passed at the state level. This situation creates an unfortunate gray area and the need for clarity.
For some preliminary guidance, we created a brief history of marijuana laws for you to read, and gain a basic understanding of.
In 2022, these divides only grew with attempts (some successful and others unsuccessful) to adopt new policies. Many of the proposed or approved laws below continue to have profound effects. As a result, if you want to stay up-to-date, you should know the details in this brief guide.
Important Marijuana Laws and Legislation From 2022
SAFE Banking Act
The SAFE Banking Act would have created legal safeguards for financial institutions to do business with cannabis companies.
Marijuana remains a Schedule I substance under federal law. Accordingly, a bank could suffer consequences for providing services.
Due to restrictions, most cannabis entrepreneurs conduct cash-only transactions. The nature of this commerce creates safety, security, and taxation concerns. Therefore, the SAFE Banking Act would provide legal cover for companies to use bank services.
However, this legislation failed to get the votes it needed in Congress. The House of Representatives approved the measure twice after its introduction in 2019. But the Senate rejected it and kept it from becoming law.
The most recent version contained multiple measures to enhance transparency and safety. For instance, it compels the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to guide how banks can work with cannabis firms. It also requires the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to investigate the efficacy of these efforts.
Enacting the SAFE Banking Act would be a crucial advancement for the cannabis sector. Moreover, it would decrease the hazards associated with cash transactions and raise transparency. Regardless, it is uncertain if the legislation has a genuine chance of becoming law.
Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act
The Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act would increase the accessibility of marijuana for scientific analysis. Current federal laws make it challenging for researchers to acquire marijuana. But this legislation seeks to simplify the process, improve the supply chain, and remove bureaucratic barriers.
This act marks very important marijuana laws and legislation from 2022.
In the event of approval, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) would issue licenses. Additionally, the legislation recommends that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) conduct more in-depth research. Specifically, their efforts would focus on vulnerable populations such as pregnant women and teenagers.
The Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act would enable scientists to conduct more comprehensive studies. Additionally, the increased research into the long-term health consequences could inform better public policy decisions.
California Marijuana Laws
California has been a leader in marijuana-related issues for decades. Although still, it’s not all simply legal smoking pot in California. In 2022, Governor Newsom signed several laws that continued this trend of progressive policies. A few of California’s most important marijuana laws and legislation from 2022 are in the sections below.
Governor Newsom signed this bill that equates parental cannabis use to alcohol consumption. Accordingly, it prohibits child welfare agencies from denying custody based on its legal use.
The bill also directs child welfare agencies to prioritize a child’s safety. Using marijuana responsibly should not factor into assessments of whether a child should go to foster care. The law guarantees that parental marijuana use does not become a reason for state intervention. There must be conclusive evidence of harm to the child.
SB 1326 allows cannabis businesses to create out-of-state contractual agreements. Therefore, it permits cannabis companies in California to engage in interstate commerce. They can cultivate, manufacture, distribute, and market cannabis products as long as it is legal in both states.
AB 1706 increases opportunities for those with cannabis convictions to work in the legal cannabis industry. It establishes a program to help eligible individuals clear their names and remove barriers to employment.
The bill also mandates the Bureau of Cannabis Control to promote participation by developing mentorship programs. It is significant because it addresses the racial disparities in the criminal justice system. Moreover, it aims to expand opportunities for those affected by the War on Drugs.
AB 2188 prohibits employers from discriminating against a person based on their use of cannabis outside of work. Organizations cannot rely on marijuana for hiring, termination, or other employment-related decisions.
There are exemptions for some industries, including those in building and construction trades. Additionally, it does not apply to applicants for positions or benefits that require a federal background check.
Biden Administration Pardons
The White House issued this groundbreaking proclamation on October 6, 2022. It pardons individuals convicted of federal offenses related to possessing marijuana. Specifically, it covers convictions for having up to one ounce.
Its purpose is to address systemic racial inequality and bias in the criminal justice system. The proclamation acknowledges that the War on Drugs resulted in a disproportionate incarceration of people of color. The pardon aims to foster justice and fairness in the legal system by offering relief to those affected.
Ask a Lawyer More Questions About Marijuana Laws
After reading this guide, you can see how consequential 2022 was for marijuana laws. Even the efforts above that failed will become subject to debate again. Furthermore, the current landscape still has sticky disparities between state and federal regulations.
If you need legal help with a cannabis-related issue, we have a network of local attorneys that can help. Request a consultation through our website or call (866) 345-6784 to schedule a consultation today.